On the Archetypes Podcast, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry’s Wife discussed how movies like Kill Bill or Austin Powers perpetuate a negative stereotype of Asian women. She said, “This toxic stereotyping of women of Asian descent, doesn’t just end once the credits roll.”
Kill Bill, directed by Quentin Tarantino, has generated a lot of discussions ever since it hit cinemas in 2003, both for the way the characters are portrayed and for some of the screenwriting decisions made.
Notably, the role of O-Ren Ishii, performed by Lucy Liu, has long been the subject of debate since it closely resembles the stereotype of the Dragon Lady, an Asian woman who is powerful, cunning, arrogant, secretive, and frequently charming.
Meghan Markle on the Archetypes podcast said:
These Asian ladies played in movies like Austin Powers and Kill Bill was frequently overly sexualized or hostile. There are plenty of other examples outside these two as well. Much of our entertainment has been influenced by this misconception. But when the credits have rolled, this harmful stereotype about women of Asian heritage doesn’t just disappear.
Nancy Wang Yuen previously discussed the stereotype of the Dragon Lady in her book Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism. She said that she was offended by a man who used the derogatory term “Me So Horny,” which is similar to how an Asian lady sounds in Full Metal Jacket.
It happened to me in an Atlanta airport when a stranger told me: “Me so Horny,” he just yelled at me – said Yeun. I knew he was talking to me, although I didn’t know if he had ever seen Full Metal Jacket. I knew he was talking to me because I looked around and saw that I was the only Asian woman in that area.